IS YOUR CALL A REAL EMERGENCY???
WHILE everyone has been enjoying their turkey and mince pies and relaxing with
loved ones, for North West Ambulance Service staff, it has been business as
usual with thousands of incidents responded to over the festive period.
The Trust answered 4,111 emergency calls and attended 3,178 incidents on
Christmas Day alone and this figure has increased on subsequent days as the
Trust urges the public to only call in the case of real emergencies.
Director of Operations, Ged Blezard comments:- "This Christmas has been one of
our busiest ever and there are no indications that activity is going to reduce
as we head towards New Year's Eve; traditionally always our busiest day. On 27
December 2017, we were astounded to see that our control staff had answered
5,491 emergency calls and we know that not all of these required an emergency
ambulance response. Unfortunately, there have been some patients who have been
waiting longer than we would like, but I want to assure the public that we are
doing the very best we can to reach people as quickly as possible, but if your
condition is not urgent, you will wait some time for a response or be given
advice on other healthcare options."
The sudden cold snap currently being experienced in the region is also likely to
increase activity as those with heart and lung conditions need our help. Add to
this, ice on the roads means treacherous driving conditions, bringing about an
increase in road traffic collisions and also slows down Ambulances as they can't
travel as quickly as usual.
Ged adds:- "Please do check on elderly and infirm friends, relatives or
neighbours, make sure their homes are adequately heated and they have the
medications they need. For coughs, colds and sore throats, seek advice from your
pharmacist. Ambulances must be kept free for those in urgent or life threatening
conditions and should not be used as a quick route into Hospital. Our staff in
the call centres and out on the roads are working incredibly hard at the moment
and doing the best they can for patients but we also need the public's help in
making the right call."
As New Year's Eve approaches, NWAS is also reminding people to act responsibly.
Ged Explains:- "On this night we see an increase in assault and alcohol related
injuries and these are avoidable if people take some simple steps... eat well,
don't drink to excess and wear warm clothing when out and about. No 1 wants to
see in the New Year with a headache and bruises."
Between 23 December and 27 December 2017, NWAS call centres received the
following calls. Ambulances were not despatched and callers were advised on
seeking help elsewhere:-
► Cracked tooth; Greater Manchester.
► Soiled self; Greater Manchester.
► Constipation; Merseyside.
► Had cold symptoms for a week; Merseyside.
► Sinus infection; Lancashire.
► Had a cough for 3 months; Merseyside.
► Sore throat and a cough, only started in the morning; Cheshire.
► Need a repeat prescription; Lancashire.
► Can't stop hiccupping; Merseyside.
► Burnt finger 6 days ago, still swollen; Greater Manchester.
► Swallowed toothpaste the day before, got a stomach ache now; Greater
► Chipped tooth - Lancashire.